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  • In the September issue of Best of British…

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    From the Editor…

    Best of British is the UK’s premier nostalgia magazine. Published since 1993, Best of British magazine is packed with stories and pictures guaranteed to bring the memories flooding back. Offering page after page of timeless reading, Best of British covers every aspect of life from the 1930s all the way through to today, recording the way it once was and demonstrating what makes Britain so special.

    At the heart of the magazine is our Yesterday Remembered section, where we explore reader’s own recollections and memories of British life gone by. Add to this dedicated stories on everything from vintage transport to great Britons, from Christmas traditions to great days out, and you have the perfect mix. Other regulars include reader favourites such as Treasures in the Attic, Baking with Mrs Simkins, 1940s Post, Postcard from… and of course our Puzzle Page and Crossword.

    We hope you enjoy reading our magazine as much as we love compiling it. In the meantime here is this month’s letter from our Editor, Chris Peachment…


    Welcome, dear reader, to our September issue. Someone wrote in recently complaining about how the English language was being misused.

    Our contributors to Best of British are, as you know, all magnificent writers as well as cultured people, and so I don’t usually have to do much to edit their pieces.

    Occasionally though something creeps in which makes the editorial antennae hum with attention. Just lately the most common solecism has been writing ‘loose’ when the writer meant ‘lose’.

    I don’t know how this began, but it is becoming common. And I suspect that after a while, if it catches on, it may become an alternative spelling.

    One friend of mine becomes enraged when he hears ‘Can I get…’ at the queue for coffee, instead of ‘May I have…’. And we now live in an age where you can find in print ‘He was bored of…’, instead of  ‘bored with..’ .That was in a headline in The Guardian, a paper you can always consult if you want to know the latest passing fad.

    I can see how the ‘bored of’ thing came about. It was listening to sloppy speech and transposing it to the page. By the same token, ‘And he was like…’ may soon replace ‘He said…’.

    The man who wrote in, complained about ‘bragging rights’, which he said ‘gets right up my nose’. Now as it happens, ‘bragging rights’ dates at least from the 13th century, and so has a long history. Whereas ‘gets right up my nose’ was a passing phrase which died out a generation ago, and would sound odd to the man’s grandchildren.

    The whole point about the English language is that it is flexible, open to influence, and changing all the time. All of those things are its strengths. Complaining that it changes is ridiculous. The meaning of a word is its use.

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